Saturday, August 15, 2009

Some possible explanation of the crash


Dear all,
I wish to respectfully set down a range of factors in the recent air crash at Kokoda.

It may be several weeks/months before an official finding is made.
In the meantime, there are inescapable facts that have to be addressed.
The pilot radioed control that she was aborting the landing and climbing.

Then we find that the aircraft is crashed up Eora Creek gorge opposite Isurava.

By what mischance did that happen?
There are possible conclusions that can be drawn and based on the fact that there was fog.

Those of us who trek Kokoda know that the fog comes up the Eora Creek gorge in the afternoons and can stay until late morning.
Fog can cover the Kokoda plateau including the airstrip in a thick blanket.

 It could be that the pilot could not find the airstrip in the low blanket of fog.

She may have aborted having mistaken the airstrip or approached the strip for landing some distance down the runway.
Or she could have mistaken the strip.

In the fog, perhaps the road outside the Kokoda hospital could be mistaken for the strip.
When she aborted, she climbed to get out of the fog.

But it may have been high fog/drizzling cloud that covered the opening to the Eora Creek gorge.

She may have approached the gorge too close to complete the circuit.

Perhaps she should have circled to the left around the Oivi-Gorari area.
Once she flew into the gorge, fate of the aircraft was sealed.
There should be markers on the airstrip. But in fog, these may be of little use.
Those who trek will undoubtedly have the same basic views as expressed here.

 This is a terrible accident that we all wish never had happened.
Bruce Copeland


  1. The female pilot Jenny Moala had just 6 months experience piloting a twin engine plane. It's reported she was calm before the accident. Of course she was calm. She had no idea what she was doing.

    The media is interpreting 'calm' as 'in control'. What nonsense.

    This is a clear case of an Affirmative action pilot killing 14 innocent people by her inexperience. God knows how she got the job.

    Nowhere has the media pointed this out. Political correctness prevents it.

    This is no accident. It was an accident waiting to happen. It was a certainty.

    When I step into a plane, I look into the cockpit. If I don't see a middle aged man, I ask to get off. The women belong in the aisle serving drinks.

    The fourteen people who died would have be served by looking in the cockpit and attracting the ire of the politically correct crowd. Better to be alive and reviled than dead.

    Affirmative action and Political Correctness has no place when people's lives are at state. Merit does. Experience does.

    Let Moala practice her flying skills on her own family. Not on the husbands, brothers and sisters of others.

    Remember the facts here before you get all precious. She was female. She was 26 years old. She only had 2,500 hours flying experience. She was at the controls. She was flying in a nation known for its dangers.

  2. I attempted to fly to Kokoda in May of last year in a twin otter with a female pilot. She taxied to the runway at Jacksons and then said to us passengers that the weather report in Kokoda was poor visibility and the female pilot then decided to abort even taking off and we returned to the APNG hangar. The next morning we flew in to clear skies.

    In the times that I have left Kokoda strip, the plane has often banked to the right just after take off, completed a lap of the Kokoda Station and then headed up the Eora Creek Gorge and through Kokoda Gap.

    My impression is that Ms Moala may have decided to abort landing at Kokoda and then headed straight up the Eora Creek. Perhaps the chap on board who had completed the Kokoda track on 2 previous times may have said something to her through the door which may have made her think that she still had time to swing around to the right and try another attempt at landing. Just that the mountain was in the way.

    There is little chance that we will ever find out what caused this flight to go down; I don't see your commentary based on sex can help anything Terry. Poor form.